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Comment: Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 2) 438

by Sique (#48633803) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
So you are advocating getting rid of caffeine and sugar, of glutamine and perfume, of acetylsalicylic acid, sodium carbonate and all those little substances that help us to overcome some unpleasant moments. No more tea, no more pepper, no more chili for us, because this is just getting us high!

FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate 497

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-into-it dept.
v3rgEz writes In a terse form letter responding to a FOIA request, the FBI has confirmed it has an open investigation into Gamergate, the loose but controversial coalition of gamers calling for ethics in gaming journalism — even as some members have harassed and sent death threats to female gaming developers and critics.

Comment: Fixed capacity (Score 1) 81

by pavon (#48619357) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

One important point that others above have alluded to but haven't outright stated:

While the exponential scaling of rocket equation is an important limiting issue when building larger and larger rockets, for any given rocket (or rocket configuration) the payload capacity is fixed. If you have a payload that is too large for a Falcon 1Pegasus, but doesn't need the full capacity of a Falcon 9, all that extra capacity goes to waste. It costs essentially the same amount to launch a Falcon 9 at 60% capacity as it does to launch it at 90% capacity. You can share payload with multiple customers, but that limits which orbits they can use.

Space X can calculate how much weight the recovery system and fuel requires and how much money they can save by reusing the first stage, and give a discount to customers who give up that additional payload capacity. If there is a market for those lower cost launches, then great. If not, then keep treating the 1st stage as disposable.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 81

by pavon (#48618231) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

Running a business like this takes a lot of work, and for it to succeed well enough to actually get working rockets off the ground you need to attract top-notch engineers who believe that working for you isn't just a waste of their time (more than a billionaire's plaything), and management that can create the right environment for them to succeed without blowing through your money for nothing. It is much less expensive, less risky and less time consuming to just pay Russia for a thrill ride than to create your own rocket company. So I can understand why most would choose to go that route, and leave the latter for those who genuinely want to shake up the market.

Comment: Re:it can be air filled (Score 2) 198

by pavon (#48617897) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

That said, the total payload mass that the ship could support is roughly the same whether it is inside the airship or outside in a gondola, and the more space you want to make available for use, the more mass you would have to dedicate to structure rather than payload. So it would be less cramped than a tiny capsule, but you would still need large expanses of mostly empty space to provide the needed buoyancy.

In practice, it might be better to have a balloon filled with a less dense gas to decrease the total volume needed to support the desired payload, and then have an attached air-filled "gondola" that is nearly as large as the balloon.

Comment: The issue was raised before. (Score 2) 653

by Sique (#48615883) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates
Not so long ago we had a discussion about the Third Industrial Revolution, and how it differs from the other two. And there, exactly the same issue was raised. Both industrial revolutions before were able to increase the productivity of the single worker. The first one, with the mechanic loom and the steam engine, increased the output of the factories and the farms, setting people free to do more sophisticated work that was already present, but not enough skilled people were there to take all the research, engineering and construction jobs, that were open before or opening because the First Industrial Revolution needed them. The Second Industrial Revolution, with trains, motor powered ships, cars and airplanes allowed to increase the amount of goods transferred and lowered the prices for trade, because now transportation after production was cheap too, and we got globalization and international division of labor. Ever larger plants could now produce more products which then could be delivered everywhere, resources could now be shipped from everywhere, still increasing productivity and setting people free who were until then occupied with necessary, but rather unproductive jobs.

But with the information revolution, the Third Industrial Revolution, the productivity increase didn't happen, or where it happened, it was only gradual. You can't mine iron much faster with more information at hand, crop yields don't increase with more information at hand. Travel times aren't reduced since several decades, and where they are indeed reduced, it's far away from what happened in the 19th and early 20th century. From a productivity point of view, the information revolution is a disappointment. Jobs get slashed, but there is no increase in the creation of actual wealth or value.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer